"I need a break!" You say to yourself as your bride-to-be sends you yet another text on a Sunday evening.
As a wedding planner, you pride yourself on fostering great relationships with your clients, but that doesn't mean you should sacrifice your work -life balance. You can still delver a quality wedding planning service whilst setting boundaries with your couples.
Establishing communication boundaries with wedding clients looks different for everyone but can include outlining preferred methods of communication, the expected timing of communication, and defining expectations and responsibilities of both parties.
Establishing boundaries early on presents an expectation to your clients that they are to respect your time when it is not their time. Having clear boundaries allows you to give equal time to all of your clients, dedicate attention to other aspects of running your wedding business (urgh, accounting), and spend quality time with your loved ones.
We have compiled a 5-step to help you respectfully but firmly establish boundaries with your wedding clients and achieve a healthy work-life balance. Let's begin...
5 Strategies For Setting Healthy Boundaries With Clients
Setting boundaries in your work as a wedding planner can at first seem uncomfortable or unfamiliar. Ease the transition with five simple steps to setting boundaries with clients—ones that enhance your work, not diminish it.
Learn to say no
No is a simple word, but one that people-pleasers find near impossible to say.
Saying no is not evidence of you being unaccommodating or difficult, it is evidence that you know what works best for you and your nusiness and you are commited to delivering that high quality service. If you communicate this properly with your clienst from the outset, they will understand and respect your boundaries.
Some clients might not respect your boundaries, and decide to find another wedding planner instead. But remember, the right client will find you in the end. Working with toxic wedding clients is of no benefit to your business in the long run.
Write boundaries into your contract
The way in which you communciate, and what clients can expect of you should be clearly stated in wirting, in your contract.
Your contract can outline what methods of communication are acceptable and what your working hours are. For example, your client can only contact you via text after 8am and not after 7 pm. It is important that both you and your client agree to the terms of service at the beginning of working together.
Set your price
Sometimes you can make exeptions to your boundaries, by working over time or accomodating a specific client request—this is testament to you going above and beyond for your client. However it is important to explain from the outset if these services will come at any extra cost.
Outline any additional fees in your contract, that way you can't be accused of hidden costs and your client can make an informed decision on how they use your time.
Stick to your rules
It is tempting to reply to a late night text, answer your client's phone call at an inconvenient time, or apologise for not solving something that was in fact outside of your responisbilties just to keep the peace. However, in the long run this will only damage your ability to run your business efficiently and could lead to burnout.
Make sure to prioritise yourself and your well-being at all times. If a client can't respect you and your time, then it's time to re-evaluate your working relationship.
Sometimes, needs change, and so too can your professional boundaries. Revising your boundaries once in a while is a healthy way to check-in with your self and ensure you are offering a high quality wedding planning service.
Wedding planners need firm but fair boundaries with their clients in order to enjoy a healthy work-life balance and provide a quality wedding planning service. Setting boundaries is not always easy, but it is important.
Your boundaries stipulate expectations when it comes to client communications and your responsobilties as a wedding planner. Use your contract as a tool to highlight these boundraies, and stick to your rules throughout the process. The right wedding client will respect your terms of service.